Maine same-sex marriage lawsuit filed to protect donor names

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May 14, 2010

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Augusta, Maine: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has filed a federal lawsuit against the state after the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices launched a fundraising investigation in October 2009. The investigation revolves around 2009's ballot measure - Maine Same-Sex Marriage People's Veto, Question 1. Specifically, the ethics commission is currently investigating whether the organization should have filed as a ballot question committee.

However, the commission has requested donor names to verify donations. NOM attorney Josiah Neeley said the organization would be willing to list donations without names or addresses. However, Neeley argues that even without the disclosure of names, donors may worry about being part of an investigation or deposition in the future. The state, according to reports, believes most of the donations were completed verbally and they require donor names to verify the transactions. The state contends that names will be kept confidential.[1]

In May 2010 Justice Donald Marden in Kennebec County Superior Court said he is concerned about the privacy of those who participate in the political system. "The court is really queasy in light of recent history of what it does to a person's 1st Amendment right when they contribute to a campaign. What are we doing with privacy these days?"[1]

The fundraising investigation and the privacy of donor names remain pending.

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